Pounding Headaches after long run

cocolo89
cocolo89 Posts: 1,171 Member
SO I exercise a lot. 5-6 days a week. I also run about 2-3x a week. I don't generally get headaches after doing exercise or going for short runs (30-45min runs) but when I go for the long runs (70-80mins) I get pounding headaches that last 2 days. I am training for a 10k, so when I do my long runs (6-7miles) I usually only do them once a week with a friend. I'm at the point where I just want to quit training once a week with my friend cause my headaches just suck and they make me feel crappy the whole day (we do them at 7am) what can be causing them? is it something normal? I drink a bunch of water, mainly smart water after I run. On days I run I usually eat pretty good too. This just sucks the life out of me.
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Replies

  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member
    As a migraine sufferer, I can tell you that those sound like migraines which can be set off by exercise. They can also be exacerbated by dehydration and/or low blood sugar. Are you careful to stay hydrated during long runs? Do you take in some type of food as well?

    ETA: Oops, I see that you do drink water and eat. Do you specifically take in gels or something like that during the run?
  • BillyJan1992
    BillyJan1992 Posts: 171 Member
    I have headaches as well after running even if I drink water but after I take Excedrin and drink Gatorade and just relax for a while I am usually fine
  • fitandfortyish
    fitandfortyish Posts: 194 Member
    In...to see the replies.

    I used to get the headaches after I ran 10k's so I stopped doing them, choosing to run more often at 7.5k. The headaches stopped.

    I started rowing 10k...and the headaches came back, usually around the 8k mark. I figured it was due to exertion so I dialed back the intensity and the headaches went away. Now that I consistently row 10k I haven't had them again. But I don't know.
  • craftywitch_63
    craftywitch_63 Posts: 829 Member
    Yes. It's pretty common and may just mean that you are not hydrated well enough or your blood sugar is low but it could mean a very serious problem. See your doctor and don't do any long runs until you do.

    http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/features/exercise-and-migraines
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332038/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332039/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22875877
  • Jade0529
    Jade0529 Posts: 213 Member
    maybe it's what you are drinking. Check out the ingredients in your Smartwater. It's owned by the Coca Cola company and from what a quick Google search of the ingredients is telling me, it's not good. It could def trigger migraines
  • cocolo89
    cocolo89 Posts: 1,171 Member
    AH I see. Maybe I can drink more water and add some sports drink to the mix. I have 2 small kids at home so I hate feeling sluggish after those runs.

    fitandforty- that's so weird, sounds just like my situation. I can run 4-5miles just fine without headaches, but when I get 6-8miles IT JUST SUCKS. I don't have them WHILE I run, it comes shortly after.

    I was checked couple weeks ago on blood sugar, and she said they were fine. Also my blood pressure is good, usually around 100/60 at resting,

    quitebloom- I am a migraine sufferer, I found the triggers to my migraines and was able to control them for a while (I went 1-2whole months without a migraine lol) but now for the past month I have gotten these crappy headaches every week.
  • fitandfortyish
    fitandfortyish Posts: 194 Member

    fitandforty- that's so weird, sounds just like my situation. I can run 4-5miles just fine without headaches, but when I get 6-8miles IT JUST SUCKS. I don't have them WHILE I run, it comes shortly after.

    Interesting. How many 10k's have you run now? Do you get a headache every time?
  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member
    maybe it's what you are drinking. Check out the ingredients in your Smartwater. It's owned by the Coca Cola company and from what a quick Google search of the ingredients is telling me, it's not good. It could def trigger migraines

    What is wrong with distilled water and electrolytes? Calcium, potassium and magnesium. That's it. Oh, and some good old H2O. :smile:

    Of course, I prefer to drink just water and get my electrolytes from my homemade energy gel. Honey + salt and potassium. Yum!
  • fitandfortyish
    fitandfortyish Posts: 194 Member
    [/quote]


    Of course, I prefer to drink just water and get my electrolytes from my homemade energy gel. Honey + salt and potassium. Yum!
    [/quote]

    Heeeey.... what's this???? Sounds delish. ..
  • cerumens
    cerumens Posts: 45 Member
    In for replies as this has been happening to me as well.
  • FatFreeFrolicking
    FatFreeFrolicking Posts: 4,252 Member
    AH I see. Maybe I can drink more water and add some sports drink to the mix. I have 2 small kids at home so I hate feeling sluggish after those runs.

    fitandforty- that's so weird, sounds just like my situation. I can run 4-5miles just fine without headaches, but when I get 6-8miles IT JUST SUCKS. I don't have them WHILE I run, it comes shortly after.

    I was checked couple weeks ago on blood sugar, and she said they were fine. Also my blood pressure is good, usually around 100/60 at resting,

    quitebloom- I am a migraine sufferer, I found the triggers to my migraines and was able to control them for a while (I went 1-2whole months without a migraine lol) but now for the past month I have gotten these crappy headaches every week.

    I'm a migraine sufferer as well (vestibular migraines to be exact). I had very debilitating daily migraines. It got to a point where I couldn't take it any longer and decided to take my neurologist's advice and start Topamax. It has been a lifesaver. I am able to go outside and in stores WITHOUT sunglasses on :laugh:

    My only other suggestion is that it could be low blood sugar or dehydration. I have hypoglycemia myself. Just because your blood sugar was normal when you got it checked doesn't mean you aren't experiencing low blood sugar after working out. Work outs lower blood sugar. Do you have any other symptoms besides a pounding headache? Try drinking Gatorade or Powerade during workouts and see how you feel when you do that.
  • Jade0529
    Jade0529 Posts: 213 Member
    maybe it's what you are drinking. Check out the ingredients in your Smartwater. It's owned by the Coca Cola company and from what a quick Google search of the ingredients is telling me, it's not good. It could def trigger migraines

    What is wrong with distilled water and electrolytes? Calcium, potassium and magnesium. That's it. Oh, and some good old H2O. :smile:

    Of course, I prefer to drink just water and get my electrolytes from my homemade energy gel. Honey + salt and potassium. Yum!

    Nevermind my mistake. I was reading about various waters and the additives and got my info mixed up. I thought it had a sweetener in it like Vitamin Water (same company)
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    Water nothing more fancy. Your doing them in the morning so just after you get up when you're likely to be more dehydrated. Make sure you drink enough before your run and take water with you if you need it. In reality your electrolytes should be fine on that sort of distance unless it's very hot.
  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member


    Of course, I prefer to drink just water and get my electrolytes from my homemade energy gel. Honey + salt and potassium. Yum!

    Heeeey.... what's this???? Sounds delish. ..

    Beemaid Clover Honey - Clover Honey, 157.5 g
    Light Grey Celtic - Vital Mineral Blend - Sea Salt, 1/10 tsp (1.3g)
    Ground up Potassium pills, 5.

    Makes 5 servings 90 calories each.

    I've also tried adding caffeine, but ground up caffeine pills are gross. :sick: :laugh:
  • fitandfortyish
    fitandfortyish Posts: 194 Member


    Of course, I prefer to drink just water and get my electrolytes from my homemade energy gel. Honey + salt and potassium. Yum!

    Heeeey.... what's this???? Sounds delish. ..

    Beemaid Clover Honey - Clover Honey, 157.5 g
    Light Grey Celtic - Vital Mineral Blend - Sea Salt, 1/10 tsp (1.3g)
    Ground up Potassium pills, 5.

    Makes 5 servings 90 calories each.

    I've also tried adding caffeine, but ground up caffeine pills are gross. :sick: :laugh:

    Thank you!! I will give this a try... I never seem to get enough potassium.
  • cocolo89
    cocolo89 Posts: 1,171 Member

    fitandforty- that's so weird, sounds just like my situation. I can run 4-5miles just fine without headaches, but when I get 6-8miles IT JUST SUCKS. I don't have them WHILE I run, it comes shortly after.

    Interesting. How many 10k's have you run now? Do you get a headache every time?

    We run them every Saturday, and yes, its only after the 10ks and EVERYTIME. Rarely after the other runs (just ran 3.5miles with a double stroller and 2 toddlers, feeling fine!)

    edit** just noticed you asked how many. We did probably 5-6 unofficial 10ks so far
  • cocolo89
    cocolo89 Posts: 1,171 Member
    Water nothing more fancy. Your doing them in the morning so just after you get up when you're likely to be more dehydrated. Make sure you drink enough before your run and take water with you if you need it. In reality your electrolytes should be fine on that sort of distance unless it's very hot.

    This makes a lot of sense! I don't drink much BEFORE the runs so I don't have to go to the bathroom, but I do take a bottle during the runs and drink 16oz WHILE I run and then another 16oz after I run. I will try making the runs later in the afternoon and hydrate before to see if it makes a difference
  • fitandfortyish
    fitandfortyish Posts: 194 Member
    PM me after you've tried some of these suggestions...I'd love to hear how it goes.

    Otherwise, maybe drop your intensity around 8k (slower jog?) for 5 - 7 mins then work back up. Try that for a few runs and gradually decrease the time at lower intensity (3-5 mins, 1-3 mins etc) and see if that works. ....It's like you're a human guinea pig!!
  • DonPendergraft
    DonPendergraft Posts: 520 Member
    I can share my experience with this. One thing that helped me: continue to drink water to properly re-hydrate throughout the day post-run. It seemed like whenever I would do a 20 mile+ run, I would end up with a horrible headache. Someone mentioned that I probably wasn't properly re-hydrated. I might drink 28 oz an hour during the run depending, and I would drink right after the run and then stop and not feel like drinking. So I finally learned to continue drinking fluid at the same pace for about another 2-3 hours post run and my headaches went away (that is to say, I never got them again). I apparently lost a lot more fluid that I realized on my long runs. Your mileage may vary! Good luck. :)
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,951 Member
    As a migraine sufferer, I can tell you that those sound like migraines which can be set off by exercise. They can also be exacerbated by dehydration and/or low blood sugar. Are you careful to stay hydrated during long runs? Do you take in some type of food as well?

    ETA: Oops, I see that you do drink water and eat. Do you specifically take in gels or something like that during the run?

    This is what I thought as well, as I get migraines like that if I'm sloppy.

    To avoid, I need to keep my water intake up during my run, and make sure that I'm getting a good amount of magnesium every day. About 400mg of Mg works for me to make all that go away. It's also potentially a pacing issue, bring down the pace a little and see what happens.